Invention Product Design Blog

Sketching your idea

Have a great PRODUCT IDEA? Launch your idea with 5 simple steps.

There is often a moment when at work, commuting, or just before bedtime when you come up with a great idea and you dream about the endless possibilities of your new invention. But you don’t know what to do next. Where to start? You just run to your notebook, wake up at night thinking there must be a way for this idea to be a reality. You might drink a few cups of coffee thinking about ways to make it happen and to benefit you and the world. Here are five basic steps that will help you get started in the right direction.

1.Write down your idea. Define what the problem and the solution is.

Sketching ideas

Sketches of ideas

Define the main problem that needs solving. What is the issue? What other problems can you work out from it?

How will you solve it? Start focusing on the most important item first.

Write a long list with all the ideas that come up to solve the equation, let them all come out freely, there are many techniques to help you, like for example brainstorming.

Start doing some basic sketches, no matter how good they look at this point. This can help you visualize and put your ideas on paper.

 

 

 

Market research

Market research product design

2. Do basic market research.

  • Is there something similar? How does it do it?
  • Sometimes you can get inspiration from other products that have solved a similar problem, but before you focus on them try to find your unique way of solving it- this will help you not get fixated on the existing way things are done.
  • Is there a need for my product idea? If it hasn’t been invented, is there a reason why? You want to start focusing on defining your market here.

You can use Google and if you find something similar don’t give up. Is there a way to make it different? How is that particular product selling? What are the reviews of the product like.

 

3. Do a patent search.

Keeping your idea confidential is essential, but there is no need to rush to patent your idea straight away. In any case until you define your product idea well and add innovation we recommend to not patent an idea that hasn’t taken shape and developed a bit.

To do a basic patent search on your own at home it is sensible to use “Google patent”. This will give you an idea of what product ideas have already been patented and if you are likely to infringe them.

Scooterpeg mock-up prototype

Scooterpeg mock-up prototype

4. Start a Mock-up prototype at home.

You can start creating a mock-up or model in a practical way to test the principle of the idea. This will give you insights on how it works, what things don’t work.

You can start at home even if it doesn’t look as you would like it to yet. Obviously not all products can be prototyped easily but the earlier you start the better understanding of what you are trying to conceive.

 

 

 

 

Dragekiss product in cake events

Cake product at cake event

5. Define your client.

It is important that you prove that there is a need for your product. You don’t need to give your idea away, but you can explore and chat to potential customers and see what their needs and wants are.

Can you start a survey to find out what they are looking for or could benefit from in relation to your idea?
Is there a way that you haven’t thought about to develop your idea? There are things here that you want them to tell you however you are looking for the unknown.

A good example would be to go to related events – eg. running or cycling events if you were designing a new sports backpack and survey your target customers.

 

 

 

 

Brainstorming product design

Brainstorming product design

6. Get professional design help.

With the above stages completed it is time to ask for professional design help. Professional product designers can add innovation, style, functionality, and will look in depth at all the variants, market research, worldwide patent search, routes to manufacture and put all this into consideration to make an end product at a reasonable price giving your customer a great experience.

Patenting doesn’t always come first as the new IP will be created after adding professional design. Be aware of companies who push you into doing a patent before you have a developed design. Ensure you sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with the design company and anyone else you discuss the actual idea with.

 

7. Start asking yourself which way you want to sell it.

  • Do you plan to license the new IP to a manufacturer or distributor?
  • Do you plan to sell the idea yourself, make your own business or crowdfund your idea?

The answer to this questions is important for the business idea in your product development.

 

Written by Belle Rivas and James Lamb from Idea Reality.

Belle is the Marketing manager at Idea Reality. James Lamb is the Design director at Idea Reality. He has more than thirteen tears of expertise working in different design roles and developing products in the categories of consumer electronics, sports, pet, wellness, as well as industrial and construction products. He created Idea Reality in 2013 to help inventors and small businesses to develop their product ideas. His extensive product development experience has given him an strong understanding of production processes as well as excellent innovative design skills.

Noti electronic invention design

Interview with Noti inventor

Idea Reality interviewed Haroon James – the inventor of the Noti about his project and his experience developing a new innovative electronic product. Haroon is a digital creative professional from Leicester who had the idea for Noti whilst at university in London.

 

What is your product?
The Noti is a multifunction piece of wearable technology with an innovative and versatile design. It acts as a watch, notification system and a data storage device.

 

Noti prototype in use

Noti prototype in use

What prompted its development and how does it help its users?
I developed The Noti as a response to purchasing a smart watch whilst at university. I realised there was a more innovative and cost-effective product that could be developed. The Noti aides its users with daily life, reduces social, workplace and classroom disruption and acts as a data storage device for the transfer and safekeeping of users’ most important files and documents.

 

How long has it taken to get from the initial idea to market?
Proof of concept began in late 2015. Over the course of 2016, I developed the proof of concept and started working with Idea Reality on concept designs. It was James Lamb (Idea Reality) that introduced me to Newbury Electronics when it was time to focus on the electronics. So, all in all, it’s taken about four years to get to an almost market ready version.

 

How and why did you decide to work with Idea Reality?
I was looking for product designers to work with once my proof of concept was ready. I had met with other companies, but once I had met with James Lamb I knew Idea Reality were the company to work with. James and his team were always on hand to advise and guide the design, both in terms of best practices for the eventual manufacturing process, practical designs within the feature set of the product and ensuring a stylish and appropriate aesthetic. He explained their process and what I could expect from them and they have continued to exceed my expectations in every aspect of their work.

 

How & why did Idea Reality turn to Newbury Innovation?
Idea Reality, Newbury and I started working together through James Lamb’s introduction and recommendation. We had reached a point in the design wherein focus had to be shifted to the electronics in order for the project to take its final shape.

Noti concept presentation

Noti concept presentation

 

Noti electronics pcb design

Noti electronics pcb design development

Please explain a little more about the electronics design element of the product?

The electronics design part of the project involved working very closely with Newbury Electronics. They designed and manufactured the printed circuit boards used to house the components and have been instrumental in getting the electronics side of the project to where it is now. The process involved frequent contact with Newbury to develop further the existing concept and exchange ideas on the electronic component design, ensuring the product met my standards and specifications while Newbury ensured the practicality and manufacturability of the design.

 

 

Were there any particular challenges that you needed to overcome in the design, e.g. space restrictions, product being used in challenging physical conditions etc.?
As The Noti was designed to be worn in various ways on the human body, it was imperative to keep the balance between ergonomics and aesthetics. Furthermore, as the PCB’s size helped to determine the enclosure size, it provided clear guidelines to the project; in regards to The Noti’s overall size. The USB flash drive was a key element in the product and finding the right placement for the USB jack was a key design challenge.

Noti early concept in use

Noti early concept in use

The screen and notification system also went through an evolution throughout the design phases. The challenge was to provide a cool product that also gave users the information they needed from the device. Initially this was achieved with a series of colored LEDs but this was seen to be too abstract for the casual user, and so a LED display was chosen instead as it is far less abstract and much clearer at a glance, fitting with the expected use cases of the device.

 

 

 

 

How do you see the product developing in the future?
With this first iteration of The Noti, I would like to see the product reach market first and foremost. For future generations of The Noti, I would like to include further features and applications to expand the feature set. I would also like the design of The Noti to continue to evolve as the company does and as the user base does. In regards to specifics, this would be discussed in private with Idea Reality/Newbury.

 

Do you have plans for further collaboration with Idea Reality/Newbury Innovation?
Based on my experience with both Idea Reality/Newbury this far, it is safe to say I will continue to collaborate with these companies for the foreseeable future. They have been there since the inception of the project and have continually supported its growth. If you’re working on your own project, I can’t recommend these companies enough.

 

Idea Reality Ultimaker 3d printer

Idea Reality Ultimaker 3d printer

Noti working prototype early-concept

Noti working prototype early-concept

 

 

 

 

Gwen and James

Inventor Spotlight

Product: Dragéekíss TM

Problem to be solved: A Pearl cake applicator to decorate cakes.

Inventor: Gwen Powell and Angelique Meyer.

Company: Dragéekíss Ltd

 

We are delighted to say that the Drageekiss (DK) is now a success having had an enormous impact in the cake industry and cake art internationally with global recognition from cake artists, bakers and teachers falling in love with the pearl applicator. The Drageekiss is being sold all over the world by distributors and online. Version 2 of the DK is on the way.

Dragéekíss Ltd approached us with a simple idea, Angelique is a professional baker and tells her story like this:

“I am sure every baker will relate to my story…Most of our incredible pieces of art are made later at night, when our families are fed and in bed. So, late one night I was busy decorating a square 4-tier white wedding cake with quilting and a flower bouquet in the one corner. I started adding my dragées (the name for edible pearls) to the cake and every second one dropped on the floor, my fingers got sticky from the icing and edible glue and after a while this caused the balls to loose colour; the silver transferred onto the white cake and my nails poked holes in the cake every now and then… I had to get up and wash my fingers after every 10th dragée and it took me almost 2 hours to finish adding all the dragées; another 30 minutes were spent with a tweezer to remove the dragées that dropped into the flower bouquet and to clean the silver spots on my white cake…”

Angelique the drageekiss inventor

Angelique the Drageekiss inventor

Eventually I was done and my cake looked gorgeous; I could pack everything away, clean up and go to bed like the rest of the family… but then, every baker out there’s worst nightmare happened… I dropped the whole container of dragées on the floor and those little balls rolled everywhere. In South Africa ants love sugar and if your floors are not kept spotless then you will get an ant infestation overnight. So, I dropped to my knees and started picking up all these little balls… when it hit me – a tool to keep these balls in place!

Container of dragees

Container of dragees

That’s when she had the idea! A pearl cake decorating device that contains the pearls and injects them out onto the cake. Angelique had started a proof of principle prototype at home, and Gwen brought us a few of the early prototypes.

development of prototypes

development of prototypes

The first prototypes at the top were the ones brought to us by Gwen that Angelique had started to develop in South Africa. Angelique had been to a designer but she couldn’t get any further. She had had the original idea to inject the pearls like a syringe but they didn’t work or injected more than one pearl one a time. After the team evaluation, a few problems were identified that needed to be solved for it to progress into the fourth prototype you see at the bottom of the picture. The problems that we put forward to solve were:

  • The device needed to work and be ready for manufacture.
  • They wanted the device to be operated with just one hand.
  • Improved functionality to work with 3, 4, 5 mm balls.
  • Insert of different hoppers for different sized balls.
  • V shaped barrel to maintain alignment of different sized balls.
  • Tighter silicone tip for better control
  • Only one ball should be allowed to load into the barrel at a time
  • Tilted hopper to ensure flow at different angles
  • Improve style and shape of product where possible.
  • Product should stand up on its own.

 

The development of this product

The team started designing a few examples of future prototypes and made them into a physical prototypes using 3DCAD and 3D printing.

A sample of the first prototype was then internally tested, fitted and made to work before having large-scale external testing. Gwen, who had an interest in baking herself gave the first prototypes to international bakers and artists for test and feedback. The most amazing bakers and artists in global cake events, had a feel of the dragéekíss, tested it and came back to us highlighting which options they preferred, what didn’t work so well and what functionally they were looking for in the dragéekíss.

External testing by international bakers.

 

The development process.

It was a long process of iterations and prototype development. Using our expertise and knowledge of working mechanisms, as the inside is a very small size for it to work properly, we did testing of prototypes and development of variations to test performance.

The team then conceived the design mechanism inside it for it to work adequately.

 

 

The old prototype at the top and the new one being tested out by the team.

The prototypes being examined against the CAD DESIGN to confirm accuracy.

 

  • We had to consider how tight the plunger went in, how strong the clip that holds the balls was, and we faced the challenge of stopping other balls from going out at the same time.

 

  • We had to select the correct spring to give the right feel but not be tiring to use. The spring was designed not to rust and be food safe.

 

  • We had to adjust mechanisms to try to improve 3 mm balls ejection and retention.

 

  • We added a small fraction of extra tolerance to reduce blockage from 5mm balls.

 

 

  • The team brought forward the idea to make it stand up on its own and to make it suitable to be used with one hand for comfort.

 

  • Food safe materials were chosen from manufacturers deciding to go for food safe PP to avoid nasty chemicals to pass to the food and ready to be washed at higher temperatures.

 

  • We developed the plunger inside with a release clip. You can take the plunger out and clean it inside. Then reassemble it clicking it together so you know the applicator is ready to use again.

 

  • We tested different material hardness for the silicone nozzle before going to a moulded part.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several iterations of prototypes had to be developed and tested by the team and the amazing bakers at international baking shows.

Several iterations of prototypes were made to test functionality, movement, improvements and refine the tool.

 

 

From 3D PRINT TO INJECTION MOULDING IN PLASTIC.

injection mould product design

injection mould product design

Prototype testing by renowned international cake artists.

One of the things that bakers gave us feedback for was that it was easier to press the plunger from the back rather than through the hole. So the next prototype was developed in accordance with this feedback.

Final product with circular plunger filled in. Nozzle made from food safe silicone rubber. The soft material grips the edible pearl allowing for controlled application onto the cake. The nozzle is designed to expand as the pearl is pushed through accommodating different sizes of pearls and creating the required control over delivery. The product is more elegant and stands out even more. Also we added the logo at the back of the tool and the “Made in Britain” stamp on the hopper.

The final design made a fully working product that fits into the cake market making it the must have tool.

 

Crowdfunding campaign:

 

Idea Reality provided a sales board, the manufacture drawings and crowdfunding videos for a successful campaign, we also designed packaging, and branding for a fully functional and attractive final product that stood out in the cake community.

 

Examples of animated 3D CAD used for the crowdfunding campaign and sales boards. Gwen used the videos, boards and animations for a presentation of the final product to potential customers surpassing her crowdfunding goals. This allowed her to mass manufacture her first 10,000 units of the DK.

 

She is currently selling the product through world distributors. From this she managed to grow a big audience who were eager to get the next product. A newer version that handles different sizes. Because it was so successful she decided to improve it even further.

Dragéekíss successes:

  • Created own business
  • Sold worldwide
  • Fully crowdfunded
  • Worldwide distributors
  • Designed and made in the UK

 

Idea Reality helped with manufacturing, packaging, crowdfunding videos, and instruction booklets for marketing. This product has proven so successful that is being sold all over the world now.

 

 

Nike-Adapt-BB sports product design

Wellness trends in product design for 2019

Wellness industry and consumer technology continues to expand, wellness now taking a central space in our society, as consumers want to feel better and function better. Companies looking to attract and retain employees are starting to look into healthier working environments, bringing wellness to the office and workplace. Here at Idea Reality we have begun to practice breathing and Tai-chi movement times in the office to reduce stress and create more internal space which reduces stress and increases creativity.

Our research and current projects have highlighted several areas of focus:

 

  1. Home Tech. According to CBI insights, wellness will not only be looked at in the office and outdoors but also at home with smart homes, intelligent kitchens, smart refrigerators, sleep tech, lighting and other features to enhance wellness. Global wellness has started to look at homes that are designed and built to support the health of its residents. For the past two years we have seen an increase of start-ups and individuals focusing on this type of technology at Idea Reality ltd and we will probably see more coming in 2019.

 

  1. Sports Tech. According to wellness brand Mindbodygreen recovery will get a high tech makeover. From massage therapy gadgets, exercise therapy tools, recovery will become more accessible at home, and you may see this type of products popping up at your local gym soon. Armony ltd is a wireless device developed at Idea Reality ltd that helps coaches communicate with the football team effortlessly.

armony football product invention design

Source: Armony Ltd – football product invention

 

  1. Mental Health. Physical and mental recovery will continue in 2019. Reflecting the decreasing stigma around mental health diseases more start-ups are popping up to manage stress, etc., from meditation apps to some other products. Meditation app Headspace and Calm have both recently raised 76M and 88M as investors are capitalising on mental health economy. All this investments may look like a bit much for meditation apps, but this highlights that mental health is far from its peak. At Idea Reality we have worked on a number of products related to mental health and they are all currently top secret! So keep your eyes peeled as our new products come out.

 

Nike-Adapt-BB sports product design

Source: Nike Adapt BB product design

  1. Fashion Tech. According to CBI, wellness and fashion are becoming more intertwined. Nike has created a self-tightening shoe that can record physical activity. Clothes and shoes will highlight performance tracking features bringing them into everyday life. In our office we have seen a resurgence of tracking tech in sport products during the last three years. And a continuous presence of sports product over the last few years. We have developed Motionlab bag, a weightless backpack that takes all the weight from your shoulders.

MotionLab Bags – weightless backpack design motionlab

  1. Pharma Tech. Retailers are also seeing a change on the products at the shelves as beauty, fashion and wellness comes together to supply customers looking for more wellness products at the drugstore. From natural beauty products to women’s health and gut health. Moving forward into 2019 expect to see a wider range of this range in your local shop.

 

 

wall mounted cat scratcer product design

Catipilla Limited – Wall mounted scratcher

  1. Pet Pampering is on the high. As CBI puts it “The broader pet tech landscape has skyrocketed, with funding to private pet tech startups at an all-time high in 2018” Corporate activity in the pet care range is thriving with investors in Mars Petcare and dog walking app Wag! At Idea Reality we have been working on a few more products from the UK brand Catipilla. From their premium quality cat climbing frame that is now selling at Pets at Home to a range of new products like the replaceable cat scratcher now on Indiegogo. We are excited to see what other pampering products come to live in 2019.

 

 

 

  1. Anti-aging Tech. Another wellness trend for this calendar year are anti aging therapies. Start-up companies and research are looking further into technology and treatments that can prolong life. From intermittent fasting apps to biohacking, floating tanks and bulletproof 360. Here at Idea Reality ltd we have been working onto a new anti aging product called “My face lift” that combines physiotherapy exercises and adjustable technology to reduce the double chin. This product has been licensed to an US company who plans to sell it worldwide in 2019. With funding in longevity start-ups seeing a huge leap in the last 3 years expect to see much more in this category in 2019.
my face lift chin excrcise product design

My Face Lift –  Chin exercise product design

Robert-Moncreiff-Interview-motionlab

Interview with MotionLab Founder – Robert Moncreiff

We are delighted to introduce you to inventor, entrepreneur, creative mind, solving problem person, start-up manager, and marathon runner Rob Moncreiff. A story that we can all relate to. A ten year journey about a driven ideas man with a passion for inventing. A truly inspiring story about a man who took the leap and went for his dream never looking back. The first product idea (of many) that he decided to pursue is a unique backpack design that takes the all weight off your shoulders.

 

Welcome Rob, we are so delighted to have a peek into your journey as an inventor, as an entrepreneur that decides to take the leap and make his dreams a reality. Can you tell us a bit about the ten year journey from working for Shell to starting your own business, how did it all start?

 

Things were going well, I was working for Shell at the time, but I had at the back of my mind that it wasn’t really what I wanted to do, and I always had a dream, to be able to create something and be able to point at it and say

“I made that, and it made the world a better place.”

Rob Moncreiff with motionlab bag

I thought that I wasn’t going to get that accountability and ownership working for a big company, things were a bit slower in Shell. If I wanted to be happy with who I was and what I was doing and what I was achieving, staying in that career wasn’t going to do it. So I sat down and I did some thinking. I wanted to stand on my own and I wanted to create something that is going to change the world. I had a few ideas to look at and I thought that I had a nice set up there. So I took the leap, I jumped out of that career to start working on my own ideas.

 

At the time I didn’t know which one was going to work. But I wouldn’t know until I set on my own and start to look at them– So that’s what I did. I thought that there was a risk that I will never take this leap unless I just do it.

“If you spend too much time looking over the cliff you are never going to make the jump.”

I understand that it can be scary. But I like to think about what the explorer Alastair Humphreys says, he says something like this:

 

"When people are talking about what stops them form taking jumps, and going for adventures, is always things like money, or lack of time, or too much on their plate. But no one is scared about being eaten by an anaconda in South America.”

 

 It is actually just getting off the sofa in the first place. I think we live in a wonderful society. Our lives are very comfortable and it makes it more difficult to fulfill your dreams, because the day to day is more comfy. There will be problems, there will be unexpected things. But it is so much better than wondering, and looking back thinking, maybe I could have done something better, maybe I could have done something incredible! And I never made the first step, I never got up from the sofa on the first place, I never took that leap of faith and risk.

 

You have a broad successful business career, from working for multinationals to creating your own business. You always seem to be active and involved in many different sports from running marathons, skiing, playing tennis and you seem to do all this with an air of ease. Can you tell us more about how do you juggle all of this?

 

 With difficulty, to be honest, so I’m flattered if you think I make it look easy.  I think it’s all about prioritising and realising that everything we do is a choice.  We live in an age of incredible technological advancement and social freedom. That means we are hugely fortunate in the array of opportunities presented to us but the question is what we do with those opportunities.  Social media is a classic example.  It offers huge benefits in terms of connections and sharing ideas, but it can also suck you in.  Being aware that looking at your phone is a conscious decision to stop looking at the world around you makes finding that balance much easier.  

 

It’s the same with the bigger questions and you can’t beat thinking what would make you genuinely happier, assessing what you could do to get there, and then going ahead and making it happen.  Can it be scary? Sure it can, but one of the stupidest questions I hear is “Do you regret your decision?” That’s a very unhealthy way to look at life.  We have no idea what would have happened if we’d made different decisions in the past.

 

I think a healthier question to ask yourself is “Am I making the most of wherever I am today?"  Once you start doing that you take control of your life and start heading towards meaningful goals.  Then life becomes simpler.

 

You have always been coming up with creative and innovative ideas, I remember before we started working on the MotionLab Bag discussing numerous other product ideas of yours, like the tennis training device. Can you talk a little about the 10 steps to designing, creating and selling the most innovative product in the world* as seen on your website. What is your creative process?

 

 Ah that’s an interesting one.  I don’t have a formulaic approach, but I think the key for me is to start with a problem that needs solving, and never give in to the 99% of people who say “It can’t be solved or someone would have done it already.” I like to break a problem down into the simplest parts to really understand what the core issue is. Then it becomes manageable and I mull that specific issue over in the back of my mind.

 

Sometimes you come up with something, and sometimes you don’t but the real work is that solving that issue will create a whole bunch of new, practical problems.  Breaking each one down and solving them all bit by bit until it looks like you might have an idea to solve roughly the whole puzzle is where the real work starts.  

 

The important thing I learned was that having an idea like this is worthless.  

 

You might show your idea to your circle of friends, your family and they might think is very cool. But until you do something with it the problem is still there.

 

The value comes in designing, developing, testing it yourself and handing it to customers to test, and understanding why your original idea will never work.  

 

You then have to adapt your thought process, iterating the process over and over again, solving each new problem as they arrive and modifying, redesigning, retesting to get to an end result that really is a practical solution.

 

In designing the Motionlab Active Commuter bag I went back to the drawing board 7 times, each time wondering if the problem was insoluble, until I realized there was a way around each of those roadblocks.  It’s a hugely frustrating process, especially when you hit dead ends and have to abandon months of work, but I think it's the only way to have confidence in your final product solution.

 

“Remember all that work you put in, understanding why this design works but that one doesn’t, is the value that you add, and means other competitors will struggle to copy you.”

 

That’s my process but I would never suggest that my way of doing this is somehow the “right” way. I think it’s suited to the problems I like to solve which are tangible, real world issues that I have experience of, but we’re all of us unique and if you find a way that works for you then go for it, and good luck.

 

You have managed to conceive, design, patent and successfully launch your own product! Can you tell us a bit more about the commute backpack that takes 100% weight of your shoulders and how it all started?

 

 It all started when I was still working at Shell and I tried running home from the office because the gym was shut.  I just had clothes and shoes in a small bag but it was bouncing around on my shoulders and was horrendously uncomfortable.  Playing around with the shoulder straps improved things and I ended up with the left shoulder strap in my right hand and the right shoulder strap in my left hand, and pulling them across my chest.  I guess that was my first experience of the wraparound harness concept.  It was definitely more comfortable although I was now running down the street with my elbows sticking out like a chicken, but I immediately felt I had something valuable.  I thought maybe a wraparound harness could remove the need for a hip-belt altogether.

 

So, I took my brother’s rucksack, ripped off the straps and hip-belt and sewed them back on in a different configuration. It was an absolute disaster.  BUT I could still see the wraparound harness had some benefits.So then I sewed the hip belt back on and started researching how the body is designed to carry load.  I learned a lot from Google and physios and osteopaths about the natural way to carry weight in the human body. My testing started showing me how traditional backpack designs were preventing this from happening.  That’s how I learned the need for the flexible and extending spine and the BreathEZ buckle system.

 

All that time I was also talking to potential customers, getting feedback on what they looked for in a bag, what problems they faced, and getting some feedback from them after giving them my prototypes to try on. These discussions in the end led to a complete change in the direction of our launch product from a 70 litre bag to a running backpack to a commuting backpack, simply because so many people highlighted the need for a bag that allowed them to go running to work.

 

I was doing all this in the kitchen of my London flat with tools I had from my dad, and my concept prototypes just looked awful.  That’s when I followed up on a chance meeting with some friends to get in touch with James at Idea Reality.  They were able to take my concepts and figure out how to build this into a practical design.  We worked together to continue with the learning process, each iteration getting better and better and allowing us to give the bag to consumers to get further feedback.  We learned entirely new problems and had to put our heads together to figure out solutions like the retracting hip-belt.  It’s been a long, long process, but I’m really proud of what we have today.    

motionlab bag gif

You have turned your idea into a business and successfully funded it via kickstarter.com. The first batch of products is shipping to backers as we speak and we can’t wait to receive ours. Can you tell us about your product launch experience and any advice you have for those wanting to do the same?

 

 Yeah, this is all really exciting.  Crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo enabled us to effectively pre-sell 230 bags which gave us the funding for an initial production run.  It also gives us access to a community of people who are really excited to see this product come to reality and are really engaged so we’re looking forward to getting a lot of feedback.  That’s super important because the best feedback is from someone who has actually paid money for the product.  

Crowdfunding is a great way to launch a product as you get orders and the money up front so you can hit the minimum orders for production runs.  However a lot of people see the crowdfunding success stories hitting double or triple their targets and think you just put your product out there and it sells.  No way.  You need to really work on your Kickstarter page to explain your product well, do a lot of marketing before and during the campaign, and keep fighting for every sale.  Realistically you’re doing well to hit your target on your first campaign.  From what I see it is only a few products (and nearly always the second or third campaign for a particular product) that go stratospheric.

 

Also allows lots of time to do your research on production.  Go meet with the factory and make sure you have good control of costs.  There are some products launched very successfully on Kickstarter that have since gone bankrupt because their costs increased and they were losing money on every sale.  

 

For us this is an exciting time.  Finally launching validates everything we’ve been working on all these years, but this isn’t crossing the finish line, it’s more like crossing the starting line.  We plan to use Kickstarter again to fund our next production run of the Active Commute bag in summer 2019, and meanwhile we’ll be working with Idea Reality to put our innovative technology into a 70litre backpack for trekkers and travellers.  


The bag has also won an award! Can you tell us more about this experience?

 

This was great actually.  Idea Reality put this design forward for the CreativePool Design awards in 2018.  It's a very prestigious award and I must say, I wasn’t expecting much to come of it.  However we were delighted to take Gold place in the Industrial/Product category!  A really great night, surrounded by some huge names in design, and it was great to have our product recognized for its innovative design by some really big names in the industry.  However confident you pretend to be, that sort of accreditation really helps to think we must be doing something right.

  

We think Motionlab is a truly innovative product and it seems that there could be many more applications for this technology. What do you have on your sleeve for the future?

 

 We cut our teeth on the Motionlab Active Commute bag because it satisfied a very relevant, niche community of people wanting a more comfortable way to commute to work and fit in their exercise at the same time.  However, we’re really excited about the broader opportunities for this technology.  It can be applied to any load carried on your back and we’re currently looking at the big 70 liter bag for trekking and military use.

 

 After that I’m excited about developing our product range to a skiing and snowboarding bag, a climbing bag, a baby carrier, schoolbags, MTB bags, and anything else you can think of.  We’re even discussing how we could help firefighters with their need to carry heavy breathing apparatus without constraining their movement.  If you think of a sport or activity where carrying a load more comfortably, with greater stability and freedom of movement counts, and avoiding damage to your back and shoulders then drop us an email at [email protected] and let us know.  

Read the Full Case Study

Read about the project plan and design challenges along the way!

IR 1. Doggy Goggles

5 Weird But Wonderful Ideas Which Sold Millions

From psychic 8 balls to wigs for your dog, the world is full of wacky and wonderful products and inventions. But if the creators of these weird ideas which sold millions were to listen to those around them who didn't believe in their ability to bring these creations to life and then to market, they wouldn’t be rolling in the millions their products have earned them to date. Not bad for hamster helicopters and baby mops, right?

 

At Idea Reality we believe there is no such thing as a bad idea and will endeavour to create your products and ideas, however good or ridiculously good they are.

 

Here is our countdown of just 5 examples of what at first glance look like concoctions and contraptions that belong in the bargain bucket, but are proof that if you believe in yourself and your ideas, anything is possible!

 

5. In at number five are the doggy goggles that boggled our mind, and that’s before we found out the net worth of the company was £2 million. From a sky diving St Bernard to a mastiff on a motorbike these guys have you covered!

 

Image result for toilet night light

Image Credit: Google Images

 

4. In at number two…sorry we mean number four is the toilet night light. An illuminating toilet seat for those late night visits when you are just too sleepy to turn the bathroom light on. This product has sold nearly $300,000 worth of units. Whatever your reason for the product or idea there is success to be had so never flush a potential money maker down the toilet!

 

Image result for bunch o balloons

Image Credit: Google Images

 

3. Ever lacked ammunition in a really important water balloon fight? Well one genius dad created the ‘Bunch o Balloons’ multiple water balloon filler. We can guess which kids were top of the neighbourhood score chart that summer! An excellent example of how one small idea one holiday afternoon can transform into a $900,000 business.

 

Image result for lucky break wishbones

Image Credit: Google Images

 

2. Plastic Wishbones… yes you heard it right! Never again will the family fall out over a wish on Thanksgiving, thanks to one man at Lucky Break Wish Bones. Whether it’s a box of 5 or a crate of 500 there’s a wishbone for every occasion. He certainly wasn’t being a chicken when he plucked up the courage to launch this idea. Especially with these plastic bird sternums bring in approximately $800,000 a year.

 

Image result for the pet rock company

Image Credit: Google Images

 

1. Coming in at number one is the epitome of not giving up on your ideas. The Pet Rock company is estimated to be worth £15 million. When ordering from The Pet Rock Company, you will receive a 'pet' stone, a certificate of authenticity, and a box - who knew that we would love pet rocks so much! We think this is the perfect gift for someone who would love a pet but perhaps just hasn't got enough time for walkies.

 

With our top 5 weird ideas which sold millions, we invite you to test your idea - get our FREE online idea review by one of our lead designers. All of your ideas are under NDA so the secret will stay between you and us.

Idea Reality Marketing Innovation

How To Use Your Innovation As Your Marketing Tool

We have seen this more and more - innovative companies are using their forward-thinking ideas as brilliant marketing tools, and getting ahead of their competition.

 

Often when businesses think of innovation, they think of sci-fi-esque futuristic gadgets or simple changes in their office to help the workforce operate quicker and seamlessly. But innovation can help your brand stand out and strengthen the messages you are sending out to your potential customers. If your brand allows your customers to experience it, the way they feel after using your service of product will have a much longer lasting effect than any ad you publish.

 

Image result for samsung life saving truck

*Image taken from Google Images

To give you an example, Samsung created a life saving truck inspired by the alarming statistics of traffic deaths on Argentina’s narrow roads. This prototype truck had a wireless camera mounted on the front, and was live-streaming its view onto a huge wall of Samsung video screens on the back of the vehicle. Pretty memorable and effective - one you'll remember when choosing your TV.

 

Another example is Norwegian Air who enabled free Wi-Fi on their planes improving their passengers experience and changing the perceptions of their brand. A cheap airline who not only promises to trump the fares of their competitors but also offers free Wi-Fi on board - we know who we would choose *opens Instagram for live stream of the sunset sky*.

 

Image result for volvo life paint

*Image taken from Google Images

Another great example is the Volvo Life Paint, created with the brand ethos in mind: safety first. The UK team produced a reflective safety spray paint which helps cyclists be seen on the road and helps them keep safe.

 

And to finish our round up of some great innovation marketing we present to you Gatorade who created a bottle cap technology which measures your hydration rates - the smart bottle uses a microchip and disposable sweat patch to update users on the amount of sodium they lost, and flashes to remind you to drink (a Gatorade of course!)

 

A glowing red “change” neon on a wall

 

What we can take away from these examples is that innovation and marketing go hand in hand - use your great ideas and changes to a marketing advantage, and be memorable.

 

The benefits of innovation marketing are:
- You will stand out in front of competitors
- You will help strengthen your brand core values
- You will be remembered by your potential customers and subconsciously employ brand ambassadors

 

And remember to have fun with innovation! Try new things, test out products, create prototypes... We can help you along the way!

Idea Reality Blog

9 Successful People Who Failed The First Time

If at first we don't succeed... We will try, try, and try again! It can be disheartening to give your all to a project or a venture and not have it turn out the way you want it to. The word 'failure' is something most people are scared of. But we think failure is just a learning curve on the way to success - just looks at these successful people failed the first time!

 

1. Thomas Edison. When Edison was young, his teachers told him he was ‘too stupid to learn anything’. But later in life, Edison went to hold more than 1,000 patents! Including a product  which we use every single day today: the electric lamp.

 

2. Albert Einstein. We know Einstein as the icon of intelligence, but he had some set backs. When he was a child Einstein didn’t start speaking until he was four, nor reading until he was seven, and doctors thought him to have learning difficulties. Later in life, Einstein won a Nobel Prize and changed how we think of physics. 

 

3. Oprah Winfrey. We now know Oprah as a billionaire with her own TV channel, but did you know that she was fired from her first job as a TV anchor? But Oprah never gave up and carried on going - this is her quote relating to previous experience:
“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”

 

4. Walt Disney. If Disney listened to his former newspaper editor, there would be less magic in the world. Why? Because he was told he lacked imagination and had no good ideas. Fast forward to today and Disney is an iconic name in multiple industries; his parks have been built with ample imagination and creativity; and his ideas have been adopted by some of the most successful businesses. Walt Disney's thoughts on failure:

"I think it's important to have a good hard failure when you're young... Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you. Because of it I've never had any fear in my whole life when we've been near collapse and all of that. I've never been afraid."

 

5. Steven Spielberg. His movies have grossed more than $9 billion and Spielberg won three Academy Awards - we all know his name. But it wasn't always smooth sailing: Spielberg was rejected not once but twice by the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. The university has now built a building in honour of the movie maker.

 

6. J.K. Rowling. Prior to the fame and fortune of Harry Potter, Rowling was a broke, depressed single mother who carried on her passion in writing whilst keeping up her studies. She is now one of the richest women in the world, and this is her take on failure:

"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default."

 

7. Stephen King. Known as one of the most illustrious novelists, Stephen King is no stranger to rejection. His first book, Carrie, was turned down by publishers 30 times! A discouraged King threw his book in the bin, however his wife saved it and motivated him to try again, which led to his first book deal.

 

8. Charles Darwin. Darwin has shaped our understanding of the world, but when he was a student his teachers deemend him average and he event dropped out of his career in medicine. He later embarked on a different journey to study nature, and led to 'On the Origin of Species' which has made the biggest impact on how we look at our existence. 

 

9. Sir James Dyson. Do you ever feel like giving up on a product when things don't go to plan? Dyson had a total number of 5,126 failed prototypes over the course of 15 years. That did not stop him from carrying on to create the best-selling vaccum cleaner which led to his net worth of $4.5billion.

 

So if you ever feel like giving up, don't. What we can learn from the successes of these talented individuals is that not many people get it right the first time; and that nothing great comes easy. Take advantage of our free Inventor's Advice Pack; and if you need help we're an e-mail click away: [email protected]

Make Your Business More Innovative

4 Tips On How To Make Your Business More Innovative

It's important for businesses to keep at the forefront of innovation allowing the company to: stay ahead of competitors; explore new markets; as well as have more marketing opportunities to be featured as the leaders in their field. Not to mention that making your business more innovative will increase productivity, engage your staff, and will probably reduce costs.

 

Naturally we're huge fans of innovation whether that's working on an innovative client project, or making our product design studio in Hampshire more innovative with day to day ideas. Here we share our top tips to help you business become more innovative:

 

1. Encourage Your Team To Develop Ideas

It doesn't matter how crazy or simple an idea may seem encourage your team to speak up and share their innovation ideas. Have they thought of a new idea how to spend less time making cups of tea or coffee for the whole office? Hear them out - this may be a winner. Have they got an idea for a new app which will make the whole teams life easier by scheduling and alerting them or project deadlines and meetings? You could definitely work with that! No idea is crazy in our eyes. By listening and implementing some of the ideas, you are encouraging the whole team to be involved and use their creativity for innovation.

 

2. Bring Innovative Technology In To The Office

At Idea Reality we welcome the trial of new technology to help out processes - and we have found some winners along the way. You can start small by using an online diary and storing documents on a cloud based system; or go big and introduce new payment systems, analytics, update your software. Innovation in technology helps us employ programmes which were designed to reduce time and cost.

 

3. Build An Innovation Team

To inspire new ideas and bring innovation to your business, you need a team of innovative masterminds. Sometimes that means employing a team of innovation developers: these people will be creative and bring a new outlook to the company. When you're building your innovation team look out for individuals with a creative background (whether it's work or leisure), and interesting hobbies - a diverse workforce can bounce off each other and work on developing amazing new ideas!

 

4. Outsource Your Innovation

Outsourcing your innovation team and creating a relationship with companies and agencies outside of your industry can be extremely useful in coming up with new ideas. You will also have an extra pair of hands when it comes to projects - meaning they can be completed much quicker.

 

Talk to us about your innovative ideas - we can make them a reality! E-mail us on [email protected] or call 03330 119940. You can also submit your idea for a FREE review with one of our lead designers - click here to do so.

How to fund product development

How To Fund Product Development

You've come up with a great product idea - you know exactly what you want to achieve, you're excited about the process, and you can't wait to hold your completed product in your hands. But we also know it can be difficult to have the money to kickstart your idea, leaving you wondering how to fund product development - which is why we have come up with 4 different ways you can get help with funding product development.

 

1. Use The Power Of Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is when you pitch your idea to investors and a crowd of people who will invest in your idea to have a stake in the business which owns it. Crowdfuding is commonly used by charities and entrepreneurs, as well as bigger businesses.

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are our preferred platforms as they use pre-sales rather than actual investments in your company. This is normally much more preferable than losing equity.

There are many more out there for you to choose from. If you decide to go via the crowdfunding route, make sure to read our blog post on how to use social media for crowdfunding success.

 

2. The Bank Of Mum & Dad (Or Partner, Or Friend...)

You can reach out to your relatives and friends to help you financially and invest into a potentially financially rewarding idea. They don't have to invest the whole sum, but asking to contribute a small amount can quickly get you to where you need to be to kickstart your project.

 

3. Find An Investor

Investors can come in the form of leaders and influencers within the industry your are planning to launch your product in. Have you ever seen Dragons' Den? We would recommend you watch the show to get an idea in to how pitches and investment works. Investors will give you the money you need to start your product development, however they will also ask for a share of your company or brand. Make sure you look out for the equity split in your agreement, the investors reputation and credibility, and how involved they will be in your business.

 

4. Take out a loan

If you have 100% faith in your projects success, you can take out a startup loan from a bank. But remember that you will need to pay it back, probably with interest, so be prepared to have the money to do so - otherwise you might find yourself in a tricky situation.

 

If you need help with product development, we're here to answer all your questions! Email us on [email protected] to get the conversations started.

About Idea Reality

Bring your invention design ideas and product development projects successfully to market with Idea Reality Ltd.
Our experienced Hampshire based product design team will guide you from concept design through to prototype and manufacture drawings.
We even help with crowdfunding grants and investment.

Example Designs

Submit your project

Confidentiality Assured

Get free advice and costs to bring your product idea to market. SUBMIT


Phone: 03330 119940
[email protected]


Our Locations

Main Office: Andover, Hampshire, UK Meeting location: Central London

Copyright © 2013 - 2019 Idea Reality Ltd - All Rights Reserved
Idea Reality® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK.

Grab our amazing special offer!

  1. Brainstorm Session
  2. Basic Patent Search
  3. Market Research Study

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE